Italy | 1-2 August 1928

Milan_Collage_2DATE August 1st 1928
PLACE Milan, Venice
Today we left Lugano & passed thru the Italian border into Itay. We ate Lunch at Milan & then went to see the marvelous Cathedral then to the small chapel where the ‘Last Supper’ is [1]. It is gorgeous. Then catching the train again we went to Venice. After a hectic hot ride we arrived in Venice at 8.30. We had a miserable hotel far from the heart of town & had Supper there. Went for a gondola ride after & heard the music boats. Sleeping almost impossible on account of heat.

US baseball star Babe Ruth hits his 42nd home run and is four weeks ahead of his 1927 pace. He ended the season with 54 home runs, which would be the fourth (and last) time he hit 50 home runs in a season. In October, Ruth and the New York Yankees had a World Series rematch with Vincent’s home team, the St Louis Cardinals, who had upset them in the 1926 series. The Yankees demolished the Cards in four games.

venice_postcard_1928DATE August 2nd
PLACE Venice
Today was unbearably hot and they picked a walking tour around the city. Hardly anybody went. Helen, Lucy, Elizabeth & I went downtown alone. Some-body invited us to the glass factory, it was very interesting & then they took us to see how they made lace. Then we went in St Marks which is very ornate, but beautiful & saw the stone on which the transfiguration took place & another on which St John was beheaded. Saw Madonna of the Golden Foot. This afternoon we went in Gondolas to the Cathedral where Titian is buried & there Canova is also. Titan’s Assumption is there & Donelli’s Madonna two of the most beautiful in the world [2]. Another moonlit evening in gondalas.

Italy’s fascist prime minister Benito Mussolini signs peace treaty with Abyssinia (Ethiopia).


Santa Maria dei Frari as it is today

1_August 1928

Vincent Price Travel Journal 1928 (reproduced courtesy of Peter Fuller)

Santa Maria delle Grazie[1] The 15-century church and Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace) is a UNESCO World Heritage sites. The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent.

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari[2] Vincent is talking about St Mary of the Friars (Santa Maria dei Frari). This 13th-century church is one of the finest in venice, housing many masterpieces of Venetian Renaissance art, notably Giovanni Bellini’s triptych Madonna and Child with Saints, and the Pesaro Madonna by Titian, who is buried in the church.

[sic] Although Vincent misspells words in his journal, we have kept them as he wrote them.


Switzerland | 30-31 July 1928

DATE July 30th 1928
PLACE Furka Pass, Switzerland
Today we arose early to go up the steep ascent of the Rhone Glacier. We ate lunch in a quaint little town called Brig and continuing on our way we climbed to the highest point of the Glacier about 10,724ft. Then we proceeded to Furka pass [1]. We went into the Glacier and Marie Duval and Elizabeth Mizell & I climbed as high as possible on the mountain directly opposite the Hotel Furka Passenhöhe. Spent the night there.

George Eastman, the US innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak company (1888) and popularised roll film, shows the first colour motion pictures in the US. Eastman killed himself on 14 March 1932, as he was suffering chronic pain due to a spine illness.

rhone glacier 1928DATE July 31th 1928
PLACE Furka to Lugano Swisse
Today we started down the grade to a small town where we caught the train to Lugano. We went through a tunnel 12 1/4 miles long & it took us 15 minutes. Then after an uninteresting ride we arrived at Lugano which is a beautiful town on a [beautiful] lake.

Halina Konopacka of Poland becomes the first woman to win a track and field Olympic gold medal (Amsterdam).


Furka Pass[1] The Furka Pass ls part of the popular three-passes trip over the Furka, Grimsel and Susten. Coming from central Switzerland, you begin the climb over the Furka Pass at the village of Realp. The road continues around a series of hairpin bends up to the pass head at 2431m altitude. On the Valais side, after about three kilometres, you reach the 1907-built Hotel Bélvèdere where the view opens up to the Rhone Glacier, the largest glacier in the Urner Alps and the source of the Rhone river. In 1850, the glacier swept down to the valley floor but it has lost some 1300m over the past 120 years. This is where you can take a detour to the ice grotto, which is re-cut into the glacier each year. The road continues to wind down to Gletsch at 1759m altitude, where you can find the Furka steam railway (which operates during the summer months) and the Grand Hotel Glacier du Rhône, the same kind of hotel that Vincent’s tour group would have stayed at.

[sic] Although Vincent misspells words in his journal, we have kept them as he wrote them.